Friday, October 2, 2009

Why we do it: Oakley

Here's an update from Oakley's foster mom, Nancy:

"Oakley was neutered 3 days ago and is recovering. He is not happy that he has to wear the cone. He doesn't lick at the suture area, but the area that was shaved irritates him to no end. That's where he is licking. He even licks with the cone on top of the area just to give him relief. I am going to put some vaseline on the shaved area and see if it helps.

The vet who checked him over discovered that he has cataracts in both eyes. It is kind of unusual for a pup so young to have cataracts. As far as I could tell, Oakley does not have problem seeing even in dim light. I tested him a couple times while crouching at the corner of a room with the lights turned off. He came straight to me with kisses. So I don't really know what to make out of this.

Other than that, Oakley is doing well. He is very reliable when it comes to toilet training. He is a good boy."

Check out Oakley on Youtube:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

GBGRR Volunteer: Jennifer N.

Golden Retrievers are a big part of GBGRR adoption team member Jennifer N.'s family. Her mom had 3 year old Dixie when they discovered our site and adopted Lily in 2005. Well that's all it took to get Jennifer addicted to the site! And although she was not looking for another dog, she followed intake and the adoption stories. In March of 2007, she and her husband, Scott, lost their boy Max to an aggressive spinal tumor. While they weren't read for another dog, Jennifer still followed the site and answered the call to volunteer in May at our annual picnic and reunion. Shortly afterwards, she and Scott adopted Richie!

In addition to volunteering on the adoption team, Jennifer organizes the highly anticipated "senior parade" at our annual picnic.

Jennifer and her lapdog: Richie!

The best of friends from left: Dixie, Lily and Richie

Monday, August 31, 2009

Travels with Van Gogh: Home Sweet Home

Our boy is home! There will be no more days without food. Hugs and kisses will be plentiful and chances are he'll never get in trouble for ANYTHING! Many thanks to David and his wife for providing Van Gogh with a home full of Goldens and love. It's all easy street from here on out! We love you Van!

David dropped us a note early this morning (apparently Van Gogh is still on Central time!):

"Van Gogh has been home for twenty minutes, and his tail has not stopped wagging. Everybody is getting along great. I'm technologically challenged, but I'll take some pictures tomorrow of VG with his new friends. Thanks to everybody. I've been in rescue a while, but you are as amazing a group as I've ever come across. --David"

Van Gogh and David

A very happy dog!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Travels with Van Gogh: Playtime with Izzy!

Van Gogh got to hang out with Barb and Jim's Golden, Izzy, and although it wasn't a sleep over, a good time was had by all!

Izzy, a typical 2 year old Golden knew to bring it down a couple of notches when playing with Van Gogh. These dogs are SO smart!!

How many two-year-olds would let a guest play with their tennis ball?!?

Van Gogh and Izzy...friends for life!

Travels with Van Gogh: Almost home!

Pam and Linda met Jim and Barb in Yuma, AZ this afternoon. It was a warm 106 degrees! Van Gogh really loves Jim (he probably knows that Jim has a soft spot for old dogs). He's been such a great traveler and has not once asked "are we there yet?"! Van had a good dinner and played with a tennis ball.

From left: Pam, Linda, Jim and Barb in Yuma, AZ

Saying good bye to Pam.

Saying good bye to Linda.

Hanging out in the Prius! His next car ride will be with his forever family!

From the bottom of our hearts, a GReat big Texas thank you to Cil, Karen, Carol, Greg and Carrie, Pam, Linda, Jim and Barb for helping to make this journey possible. And many more thanks to all the critters who hosted the sleep-overs that made Van Gogh feel like he was part of a family every second of every day that he was on his journey. It's such an honor for us to know so many incredible people who believe in going out of their way to help a very deserving Golden have his very own Golden Beginning.

PS: Stay tuned for pictures of Van Gogh with his forever family...

Travels with Van Gogh: New Mexico to Arizona

Van Gogh made it to New Mexico yesterday thanks to Greg from Austin! He spent the night outside of Phoenix and headed west towards California early this morning. Here are some pictures from his adventure:

Van Gogh and Greg say goodbye and discuss who really won the license plate game.

Checking out the Arizona grass!

Van Gogh with his Arizona girls: Pam

...and Linda.

Loading up for the trip to Arizona and another rockin' sleepover!

Arizona, here comes Mr. Van Gogh!

"I get the WHOLE back seat?"

Catching some more zzzzz's on his new woobie ... cell phone close at hand in case he needs to call Mr. Greg with an update!!

The happy camper.

Van Gogh with Charlie and Sampson, two Arizona Goldens, who much to Van's surprise are JUST LIKE Texas Goldens!

The Arizona sleep-over hosted by Charlie and Sampson: "...ok, so mom said we can watch Air Bud and she'll make us some snacks or we can play checkers, but Sampson ALWAYS tries to eat them .... hey! wanna make a tent?"

Five minutes into Air Bud and the pooch is snoozin' ... sweet dreams sweet boy ... You are so loved!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Travels with Van Gogh: Texas to New Mexico

We have it on good authority that Van Gogh arrived in New Mexico (Las Cruces to be exact) where he was safely handed over to Pam and Linda for the next leg of his trip. They'll spend the night in Phoenix. Stay tuned for updates from Arizona!

The grass in Austin DOES feel different from the grass in Houston! Who knew??

Nope, the sun feels the same! It's still really, really hot!

"Is Mr. Greg making it look like I have rabbit ears?"

Life really is good for Van Gogh, now! Looks like our cat lover is starting to get his every wish. These sleep-overs are starting to be serious fun!

zzzzzzz, purrrrr, zzzzzzz, purrrrrr

"We're taking this to New Mexico! Does it have a/c??"
Am I the only one hearing Willie Nelson singing "On the road again"??...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

GReat news: Van Gogh gets adopted ... and boy is he lucky!! a/k/a Travels with Van Gogh

You may recall that author David Rosenfelt was in Houston a few weeks ago promoting his newest novel in the Andy Carpenter series, New Tricks. It was released this summer featuring Andy Carpenter, the dog-loving, smart-mouthed attorney and his golden retriever Tara, along with a new character, a Bernese Mountain Dog.

(See David Rosenfelt discuss "New Tricks" and life with dogs on YouTube - click on YouTube to watch the video. The Tara Foundation, which David and his wife founded in memory of their beloved Golden Tara, has rescued over 4,000 Goldens. Currently, David and his wife lovingly take those Goldens too old or ill to be adopted into their home, where they spend their "Golden" years.)

Van Gogh was there at the book signing proudly representing Golden Beginnings when David saw him, asked about him and decided he had to adopt him! This all took about 3.5 minutes!! Since David lives in California, we have been working with volunteers and other rescues to set up transport for Van Gogh. This sweet and deserving dog started his trip to sunny California yesterday and we couldn't be happier!

Van Gogh with GBGRR's treasurer Carol G.'s goldens Holden and Pardner (who graciously hosted a sleep over the night before he started his journey HOME!)

Van Gogh napping on his way from Houston, TX to Austin, TX

Van Gogh with Greg and Carrie - they'll leave Austin before daylight for their drive west to Las Cruces, NM.

More Travels with Van Gogh coming soon so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why we do it: Van Gogh

Van Gogh came to us from an inebriated, homeless man who was panhandling in a WalMart parking lot in the 110 degree heat. Van Gogh was laying half in and half out of the doors of the WalMart trying to get some air conditioning. The homeless man thought he had found Van Gogh in Victoria (a city about 3 hours south of Houston) but couldn't really remember. One of our volunteers happened to be shopping at that particular WalMart and she convinced the homeless man to release Van Gogh to us. He is missing an ear hence the name van Gogh. Sometime in his previous life it was surgically removed. Van Gogh was very underweight, had intestinal parasites, and severely infected ears and skin. The pads of his feet were raw and blistered from the hot pavement. He has been dewormed and is gaining weight nicely although he is still thin for his frame. He is intact at the moment - we have a vet appt. tomorrow to see if he has gained enough weight to be neutered. If I cannot get him neutered this week and give him plenty of recovery time before his travels next week then it will be up to David to take care of it. He does have a slightly enlarged prostate that our vet feels neutering will help. His ears are no longer infected, the pads of his feet are healed and his skin is recovering nicely although he does still have a few bald and yeasty spots. He is an exceptional gentleman with a very loving and easygoing personality.

Van Gogh is being fostered by Karen H., the director of the Pasadena, TX animal shelter. She brings Van Gogh to work with her every day where he loves hanging out with the cats in their special room. Van Gogh and Karen go on daily walks and she makes him special food because he needs to gain weight. Many thanks to Karen for all she is doing for Van Gogh. He is blossoming under her loving care.

Van Gogh and his foster mom, Karen

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grace (f/k/a Katie) Update and "Where have we been??"

We're happy to tell you that Grace (f/k/a Katie) has blossomed into a happy confident girl in her new home! Her new family sent us pictures of her at their weekend home (complete with a pond!). Although it looks like she's not the swimming type like her new brother Hayden, she definitely is enjoying the country and her safe new home!
While brother Hayden swims, Grace watches and takes a few notes in case she changes her mind about the whole swimming thing (she does reserve the right to change her mind!).

Hayden may be tired from swimming, but Grace is not and she wants to play!

Time to run around the pond and the girl ALWAYS gets to lead!

In case you're wondering where we've been ... the crew has been very busy getting ready to launch our new website. The last meeting before we go live is Saturday. It looks so good, we can't wait to show it off. Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

...and Monte makes three!

Monte's intake photo taken in November of 2008:
Monte spent thirty days at Fort Bend County Animal Control after being rescued from inside a foreclosed house where he'd been living without food or water for way too long. When his family left they "forgot" to take him. His GBGRR driver, Lou, kept telling him things were going to get a whole lot better for him as soon as he got to something called a "foster home", where people would feed him and love him and he might have doggie brothers and sisters to play with. Monte got all all of that, plus so much more. He was a very sick dog and there were times when we were certain that he wouldn't live another day. His kidneys had been damaged from all the time without food and water and he had tested positive for both Heartworms and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (not good for the kidneys, either). But foster mom, Shari P. would hear nothing of it and her focus was on Monte's future. There was a time when she thought she was getting him healthy for his future forever family...

Monte saw the vet on May 28, 2009 to check on his kidneys and discuss his heartworm status (he is heavy positive). Monte’s BUN was 50 (normal is 10-20) and his Creatinine was 3.7 (normal is .6-1.2). Because Monte’s kidney counts remain high, it is Dr. Brice’s recommendation that Monte not undergo any treatment to kill the adult heartworms. Monte will remain on heartgard preventative so that no new heartworms can grow. Hopefully, the adult heartworms will die off over time. Monte is very healthy now - he weighs 83 pounds, his coat looks great, and he’s a very happy and loved dog.

The next day, Monte's foster mom, Shari submitted the paperwork to make him officially hers! Shari and her two Goldens, Maddie and Kipper, worked so hard to get him to eat and gain weight and they never gave up on him ... and that counts for a whole lot when a sick dog is recovering.

Recently, Shari took her three beautiful Goldens to Danny Clark's studio in Houston for a photo shoot. That's no simple task, but the pictures came out great and everyone had a really good time.

The photo shoot started with introductions and instructions, but none of the Goldens paid attention!!

Kipper didn't want Danny to stop taking his picture, while Monte patiently waited his turn.

Maddie was a natural!

Maddie, Monte and Kipper

It's hard to say to who is luckier, Monte, Shari, Maddie or Kipper? Some would say that it is a tie!

Whew, that was hard work! Time to go home!

Many thanks to Danny for his patience!

Danny Clark Photography:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009 Reliant Dog Show: Goldens and kids just go together!

We're sad that the dog show is over and are already looking forward to next years' event! Our dogs have so much fun meeting the public - especially the kids!
OK, I'll wear the hat, but ONLY during the dog show!

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported GBGRR!!